Archive for December, 2005

+3 For Me!

by Jason Stotts

I’m pretty excited that one of my favorite websites has me linked in their “Friends and Partners” page.

Now, I’ll just have to work my way to the top! 😉

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To Stand Alone

by Jason Stotts

Somtimes I feel like this: alone on top of a mountain, watching the sun burning in the sky, and wondering if I am watching the death or rebirth of humanity.

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by Jason Stotts

It’s interesting – although I’ve had a surplus of time recently, I’ve done hardly anything constructive at all. Perhaps it’s because of the stressful and mind-numbing environment I find myself in or perhaps it’s the sheer need for a break after a full semester, although either way the net result is the same.

I find though, that when my mind is not actively engaged, that I’m am more irritable and restless – it’s as though my trapped thoughts take up a life of their own and torment my soul. When I don’t write, or read philosophy, or actively engage in philosophical discourse and arguments, that I am not truly that happy.

I think, were it not for Miriam and M. to keep my on my intellectual toes whilst I’m in the South, that I would certainly go insane.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to live as the vulgar masses do – to be a crude hedonist with no purpose other than that of Lord Harry from Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray – to be nothing more than a beastly pleasure seeker.

I see them, these people who live like beasts, these vulgar hedonists, and I cannot understand what it would be like to live as they do: I see them with their minds dulled by drugs and alcohol, groping around in the mists of confusion and ignorance, lashing out at what they see around them – why? Do they even think to ask themselves that?

How can they bear to live as subhuman? How can they disgrace their very nature with their brutish lifestyle? Is it possible that some of them know the bliss of humanity and yet turn their back on it? I shudder to think it could be so – that they could, with full knowledge, turn their back on their own humanity.

I find it weird to think that in most respects we are the same – we share common ancestry, common physiology, common DNA even! Yet we are so radically different.

What could drive them to it? What could turn a man into a hedonist? J’ne sais quoi.

However, the blackness of their souls seems to glimmer pristinely in comparison to the supposed intellectuals that preach this filth. To imagine that someone who could stand in halls of education, in the citadels of the mind and, while knowing what it is to be human, turn their back nonetheless! Oh what nauseating contempt they breed in me.

How could they be united with their rational soul and still spit upon it for mere ephemeral sensations?

Not, of course, could I ever advocate asceticism – I firmly believe that sensations and pleasure are necessary to the life of man, yet to think that in a creature that is both body and mind, that the fulfillment of only one part of our nature would be sufficient to be human is contemptible and blatantly false.

To be honest, it’s hard for me to even think of them as human – it’s depressing to think of our common humanity, to think that in a lot of respects the brute and the philosopher are one.

I wonder whether they can be saved? To do so, I imagine, would be to kill Pragmatism and Hedonism – to show them to not work, to not be proper to a human, to show them to be decadent…perhaps why we should spare religion – at least it could guilt them into being “good” little sheep.

No, I think that they may ultimately be beyond help – at least the mass of them. It was right of the ancients to introduce the schism into mankind, to break the vulgar into a completely different kind from the aristoi; their mistake was what they considered vulgar and what they considered noble. But let us correct it, let us re-establish a caste system. But this time it will not be by blood, but by choice – volition, not determinism, will put people in their place and their actions will determine their kind.

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Has there ever been anyone in your life whose continued existence brings a smile to your lips and a warm fuzzy feeling to your heart – yet, at the same time, whose mere existence vexes you with the sight of an amazing unactualizable potential?

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – “Intelligent design” cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, a federal judge said Tuesday, ruling in one of the biggest courtroom clashes on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial.

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A New Philosophy Post?

by Jason Stotts

I’ve noticed that I haven’t had a good philosophy post up in awhile (mostly because of finals here at DU), but since those are done I decided to write one…but unfortunately what you’re getting here instead is “If I Had to Write a Personals Ad”.

So, I decided to put a online dating profile back up on Yahoo Personals (against the advice of Miriam and Jena), but my profile on there is pretty…well – let’s just say “bad”. (see below)

I’m a senior Philosophy and Economics double major at Denison University and when I graduate in the spring I hope to start at Duke Law. I’m a fun loving guy who is also a true philosopher – thinking is my passion. I’m looking for a girl who also values her mind and who knows how to use it. My biggest turn off – dumb girls.

So clearly this is a sucky profile that doesn’t do justice to my interests, nor to my personality and I’ve decided to make a better one, yet I really have no idea what to write.

It seems like it should start like this: “I’m an amazingly good looking man with an extremely large penis and an even bigger ego…” – but the joke would probably be lost in translation and I’d come off looking like a conceited prick . The first line is key though, if people read the first couple sentences and you don’t catch their attention, then they’re not likely to keep reading.

I think I’ll start my profile with information about myself, I mean the girls reading it already know about themselves – they want to find out about me and what I want. So I was thinking something along the lines of the old one with “I’m a senior Philosophy and Economics double major at Denison University” but instead of going straight for my future plans (which may change, who knows) I’ll stay on the topic of who I am. “I’m a senior Philosophy and Economics double major at Denison University in Granville who’s looking to meet some new interesting people” I know the last part about “interesting people” is kinda trite and perhaps too obvious, but it works…I think.

I’ve noticed that a lot of people use “My friends would describe me as…” in order to set up a list of their personality traits without having to seem like they have pride in themselves, so I think I’ll shy away from that and use “I’d describe myself as intelligent, infinitely curious, witty, amicable, happy, with a passion for both the goods of the mind (philosophy) and the goods of the body (eros)” Hopefully this describes me fairly well (I swear I’ll beat the first person who leaves the comment “..and I’m an asshole”) and gets across the point that I think that intelligence is uber-important, but that I’m definitely into sex too – without being crass.

Although, the more I think about it, perhaps I should be more explicit and say something like: “I’m a firm believer in an integrated conception of personhood values both body and mind.” I think that’s a good thing to include – but I’m still not sure how to say that I value physical love (which is more than just sex, but that’s included as well) without sounding like a pervert. Hmm…

By the way, I just noticed that this piece is in stream-of-consciousness – thank you very little William James for that term and also to PoMo’s for making a dumb idea into an even worse literary style. But anyway, back to my personal ad.

Let’s see what it looks like now all together with a few additions:

I’m a senior Philosophy and Economics double major at Denison University in Granville who’s looking to meet some new interesting people.

I’d describe myself as intelligent, infinitely curious, witty, amicable, happy, with a passion for both the goods of the mind (philosophy) and the goods of the body (eros).

I’m a firm believer in an integrated idea of personhood that values both body and mind, which means I’m looking for a girl who is both intelligent and beautiful, witty and sensual, and curious all around.

I have a great reverence for life and I constantly try to live up to, and increase, my potential as well as just enjoy the simple act of existing. I love to be challenged and I’d be nice to find a girl who can challenge me and who likes to be challenged as well.

Well, it’s not too bad, I think it gets across a lot of the major things I want to say…but it’s not very good stylistically and it’s rather disconjointed…I guess I’ll use this for now and just revise it later as it’s already 2:30AM and I’m getting sleepy.

Leave comments and suggestions 😉

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An Interesting Message

by Jason Stotts

So today I got this text from M:

“1 in 3 women has anal sex by age 24, who knew?”

I’m really not surprised by this statistic – anal sex, while retaining it’s “naughty” taboo, has become extremely common and many people are engaging in it regularly.

I think part of the problem that people typically have with anal sex is that they think of the anus as an “out-hole”, since its primary function involves the excretory system. However, just because one is using something in a way that’s not its primary use does not mean that this use is wrong. For example, the primary purpose of the pen I hold is to write, yet if I were to use it to scratch my arm this would not be a “wrong” use of the pen. Just because a thing has a primary function does not mean that its lesser functions are illegitimate.

This I think refutes the major criticism of anal sex: that it is unnatural and an illegitimate use of a hole.

I’d be interested in hearing other objections people have to anal sex to see whether there are any valid objections one can level at the practice.

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by Jason Stotts

One thing I’ve found, and which has recently become all too clear to me, is that a philosopher is a different kind of person than most. We are not like non-philosophers: we do not think like them, we do not speak like them, and in the presence of most of these non-philosophers – we might as well be alone.

You see, a philosopher is someone who has an abundant curiosity and drive to know. A philosopher deals with ideas – we think in principles and can see connections between the particular instances of experience and over-arching ideas. We desire to know about all things, whether great or small – for us there is a great joy in finding out how the world is ordered and understanding the nature of things.

However, to a non-philosopher we can seem like nothing so much as intellectual boars who ignore the immediate moment in favor of higher ideals.

To particularize: when I am around a majority of people, I feel as though I might as well be alone. It’s my nature to be a philosopher – to think of ideas and principles, the implications of things, the causes of things, and to try to understand all that which is around me. When I try to talk about this to most people I feel as though I’m talking to a wall, because I receive an equivalent amount of cogent response.

There are few people around whom I feel I can completely be myself and not restrain myself intellectually – there are few who I consider my equals or superiors. Although the list is small, it is these people that I wouldn’t trade for any others: no matter their aesthetic or other accidental qualities.

Now, it is only these people who I could ever begin to consider my true friends – to paraphrase Aristotle: A friendship that is not based on equality is not a friendship in the true sense.

I can just as little imagine myself destroying my mind as dating my inferior, which perhaps is repeating myself, yet I don’t know how it can be avoided if I can’t find a girl who is at least my intellectual and philosophical equal.

I guess the point of this, insofar as it actually has a point, is that philosophers are different kinds of people and without other philosophers to interact with, we get quite lonely. To be a philosopher without other philosophers to communicate with would be torture – to date an inferior even worse.

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